Back Her Business is a new female-only crowdfunding initiative launched by UK bank NatWest in an effort to boost funding support for female founders.
Named as the ‘UK’s first’, Back Her Business will allow women to register and get their business ideas ready for crowdfunding.
Crowdfunder will provide the infrastructure and access to its wider network of partners and entrepreneurs, with the bank acting as a connector and enabler.
Though most of the funding will come from ‘the crowd’ the bank will provide a top-up in funding of £1m per annum and will be offering up to 50% of an individual’s fundraising target (capped at £5,000) for certain successful projects.
Crowdfunders will not receive any equity in businesses they back but will, in some instances, receive discounted products or services in return for their donations.
Jill Arnold, NatWest’s sustainable banking lead, Enterprise, said: “The wrap around support the programme offers has received the strongest feedback. Using the bank’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, our Women in Business proposition and industry experts, we will be offering bespoke training and coaching, networking opportunities and local events.”
NatWest research revealed that only 5.6% of women run their own business and further bank data suggests that women are half as likely as men to start a business, but many don’t due to lack of confidence.
Arnold added: “The Rose Review, Natwest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Enterprise Tracker all reveal a worrying trend amongst would-be female entrepreneurs.
We were told that they felt there was a lack of appropriate finance, mentoring, role models, local support and tailored advice and with Back Her Business, we want to tackle this head on.”
Images – Pexels (Christina Morillo)